Book Releases, Book Review, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost, TBR Purge, Writing

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

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Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Signal Boost, Writing

Goals for 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here we are, a whole week into the new year already, and I am just now getting a post up where I talk about my goals for the year. Normally I would have had the post up already, but with the schedule I had figured out a month or so ago, this was the best I could do.

Last year I had a similar post, but I called it my 2017 Bookish Resolutions. So it seems fitting that I just continue that trend and talk about things I want to continue doing or improve on over the next twelve months.

First up: Reading. Obviously this is a big and important part of my life each and every year, which is probably why I list it first. Typically I started my reading goal at 75 books, but the past few years I have always increased the goal a couple times or so after reaching it with months left in the year. I still think this is a very doable goal, and I look forward to sharing my reading experiences with all of you. And part of sticking to this goal will be doing readathons. Right now I am already doing the Manga Madness Readathon, which is happening this week. I also plan to keep an eye out for 24 Hour Readathons from both Zoe Herdt (@readbyzoe on Twitter and YouTube), and @24Hourathon on Twitter. Then, of course, there is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October.

Second: Blogging. Another big part of my life the past couple of years is this blog. 2016 may not have been a super popular year for my blog, but I felt like I grew a lot in 2017 and I started posting a lot more and interacting even more than that. So I look forward to seeing what is to come in 2018. I’m working on creating a book tag, and I hope you will all enjoy that. Plus, I am continuing my weekly recommendation posts, and as always, throw out more suggestions for themes/topics/etc for these posts. Also, I have a nice backlog of book tags and other post ideas that I’m hoping to get to, so I’m hoping to continue having lots of nice content on here for all of you.

The third item on my list of goals is: Writing. This has been the hardest resolution or goal to stick to the past couple years. Yes, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and continued to win, but I know I could and should be doing more. There is a book inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out for the past year, so I’m honestly hoping I can get a decent draft of it finished in 2018. I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m doing though. And honestly, a little motivation could help me out too. So, if you think about it randomly throughout the year, ask how the writing is going for me in the comments. I used to do some of my most regular writing back when I posted it online chapter by chapter using fictionpress. And it goes without saying, though I will say it now anyway, that I will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year.

Finally: Bookstagram. I only posted to Instagram a handful of times in 2017, and I feel really bad about that. Taking photos, particularly of books, is something I have enjoyed, so I need to try and get back into that again. Though, I suppose part of that would include bringing some of my Bookstagram photo props to my apartment instead of abandoning them at my mom’s house. I will start to post more on there; I promise. You can find me @danielle.thamasa on Instagram.

Okay, okay, so I guess technically I have a fifth category and that is goals for my non-bookish life. Because, let’s be honest, 2017 was a pretty good year for me away from this blog as well. My guy and I met, started dating, and moved in together. Now we are making more and more plans for the future, and it is kind of awesome. Right now we are definitely planning to attend all four days of Gen Con in August 2018, so that will be fun (it will also be my 30th birthday weekend so yay!), and we may even be going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this fall. We have to see if it will fit in the budget. So I am looking forward to a year of more board games, anime, video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and just cuddling up on the couch with my favorite guy.

I know there’s not a whole lot of concrete goals for this post. I’m not saying that I’m going to post a certain number of times each week, or that I’m going to write a certain number of words or for a certain length of time each day for my novels. I’ve been doing pretty good at having around 5 posts each week on the blog, but there could be times when work or life keep me from posting that much. At the very least I know that I will have a post or two up each week, but as much as possible I’m going to try and maintain my current posting schedule. Hopefully. And for my writing, I think it’s enough to say that I would like to have a whole draft finished for the book I’ve been wanting to write. It doesn’t set me up with a word count goal, but I still have a general idea of how much work I need to put in to achieve it.

What about you guys? What goals do you have for 2018? I would love to hear all about them in the comments, or even a link back to your own post (if you’ve already written one up).

Book Review, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

November Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I realize right now some of you may be thinking that I forgot to add the TBR portion for this post. Normally you would be right, but as I am participating in Books and Munches’ Diverse December, I already have my TBR posted so you can check that out here.

Which basically means that all I have to cover with today’s post is the books I read this month, my OwlCrate unboxing, my monthly book haul, and then a brief NaNoWriMo wrap-up.

The Accidental Quarterback by Charles Curtis (3 stars)

The Impossible Pitcher by Charles Curtis (4 stars)

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (5 stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Illustrated Edition by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) (5 stars)

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (5 stars)

The Chronicles of Exandria, Vol 1: The Tale of Vox Machina by Matthew Mercer, the cast of Critical Role, and around 60 very talented Critter artists (5 stars)

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 1 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (5 stars)

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #3 by Matthew Colville (5 stars)

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell (5 stars)

Corduroy by Don Freeman (5 stars)

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (4.5 stars)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (5 stars)

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (4 stars)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzko (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 2 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Runaways, The Complete Collection, Vol 1 by Brian K Vaughan (5 stars)

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (5 stars)

I will have mini-reviews of the children’s books up soon, as well as a few more comic and manga reviews. Oh, and my review for The Girl in the Tower should be up on Monday.

Next up is my monthly OwlCrate unboxing, and I absolutely loved the November box.

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My favorite items in the subscription box this month are the Expecto Patronum hat and the lembas bread bar of soap. Though my Fabrikator pin from the Grishaverse is really cool as well. And I am really looking forward to reading the book; it sounds really interesting.

Now onto my monthly book haul, and everyone, I may have gone a teeny bit overboard with my haul this month. On the plus side, I don’t think there are that many books for me to worry about in December. That’s great because I already know that January is stuffed with books I want to get.

 

Oh, and then I did some Christmas book shopping for my boyfriend’s 5 month old niece. This little girl already has an impressive library, and it will only continue to get better with each birthday and Christmas we have. So, I might as well haul her books on here too, especially since I decided to reread them myself before wrapping them up for her.

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So I actually did pretty good with reading during November/NaNoWriMo. Speaking of NaNoWriMo, during my mid-month check in I reported that I wrote nothing the first half of the month because I couldn’t get the words to come out and I was in a bit of a writing slump. But I have yet to lose a NaNoWriMo, so I finally forced myself to get writing.

What I have now that the month is over, is roughly 51,000 words of a haphazard journal/diary of random words tossed on a page. It’s basically absolutely awful and will not be shown to anyone. But I plan to just open up a new document in the new year and start a second draft from scratch. Maybe now I will be able to write a better and more cohesive story. I’ll keep you all updated if the writing goes well, especially if I get to the point of publication.

So yeah, I succeeded for the 12th time with NaNoWriMo…and somehow still managed to read 20 books. (Okay, yeah, there were a handful of children’s books, plus all the comics and graphic novels, but still). Suddenly the idea to read 14 books in December doesn’t seem all that daunting.

How did your November go? Any great books read? Or did you buy some fantastic books that you can’t wait to read? Let me know in the comments.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo Update

Hey all, Dani here.

Perhaps this should be titled something more appropriate…like “I’m Completely Failing at NaNo This Year” or “How to Catch Up When You’re Behind.” Basically, I am really really behind on my word count this year.

To put this in perspective…I finally started working on my novel yesterday, so my word count is nothing too exciting.

In comparison, I have written 12,432 words on this blog so far this month. Oh, and that does not include the words written on today’s post.

Now, you may be wondering what my NaNoWriMo word count is. I’ll tell you, but you have been warned that it is low. My current word total is barely 1000 words. Yep, that’s right. I still haven’t even reached the goal for day one yet.

What that means is that I have a lot of catching up to do. But I know I can do it. I’ve been this far behind before, in several sessions of NaNo actually. In a majority of the last few years I have written 20-30K words in the final three or four days of the month. In my past 11 years of NaNo participation, I can honestly say that I have had several days where I wrote anywhere from 10-14K in a single day.

So, while catching up could be difficult, I also know that it is possible. I suppose what I mean this to highlight for any of you falling behind on your word count is that you are not alone, and you can still come out victorious by the end of the month.

Today I’m going to share just a few online writing tools that can help you increase your writing productivity.

First up: 750 words. This is a helpful site for year round writing. It technically has a site wide goal of writing 750 words each day, but I still find the reward system to be helpful for NaNo. Basically there is a scoring system based on bowling. For each day you achieve the goal of 750 words you earn a strike for the day, and for every day where you write something but don’t reach 750 words, you earn a spare. But more than that you can earn badges for writing several days in a row, for writing in the morning or the evening, for writing without stopping, and more. Sometimes working to earn badges can keep you motivated.

Next is for people who like positive reinforcement and rewards. Try Written? Kitten!  Don’t let the super simple site design scare you off. This can be a super helpful resource. Okay so you set a goal of 100, 200, 500, or 1000 words, and every time you hit that goal amount, you are rewarded with a picture of a cute little animal. The site has options for kittens, puppies, or bunnies, but there are also directions if you would like to choose a different animal.

Finally, for those of you who need that little jolt of panicked adrenaline if you stop writing, my favorite writing resource is Write or Die. I can’t even say how many words I’ve written because of this site. Actually, using this site was what started getting me in the habit of writing 10,000+ words in a day. I have purchased the desktop versions for the original Write or Die and Write or Die 2, and apparently Write or Die 3 is out now. But for the people who don’t want to pay like $10 for the desktop app, you can use the web version for free any time. Write or Die lets you set up either a time limit or a word goal, and also a grace period before any consequences begin. You can set it for annoying sounds, having your screen turn red, or even a mode that starts randomly deleting vowels (at least those were options with version 2). Write or Die 2 also saw the release for reward based writing instead of just consequence based, but I like that the negative reinforcement of the red screen or the nails on a chalkboard sound effects to keep me writing. Simply put, I don’t want to see or hear those things and so I just write and write and write until I’ve reached my goal.

So can I reach the 50,000 word goal by the end of November? Well there’s only one way to find out. I need to get a lot more writing in. So I’m off to put in a few sessions on Write or Die. Hopefully I can start catching up now that I’m finally ready to write.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Signal Boost

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Another month has come and gone. Wow. My October TBR had 8 books on it and I only managed to read 4 of those books, though I did read a number of other books, so I suppose that’s good. Oh, and I finally got all my books moved into my apartment. I’ll need a little more time to get everything organized the proper way, but my book tour post is coming soon. I already did that mini photo update a couple days ago, so nothing more until the book tour.

Anyway, let’s just jump into the wrap-up portion of this post. As always, if I’ve reviewed the book, I will leave the link in case you happened to miss it.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (4 stars)

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (4 stars)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (5 stars)

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (5 stars)

Monstress, Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu (4 stars)

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather (4.5 stars)

Vox Machina: Origins #2 by Matt Colville (5 stars)

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash (4 stars)

Justice Calling by Annie Bellet (4 stars)

Rat Queens Issue #16 by Kurtis J Wiebe and Tess Fowler (5 stars)

Rat Queens, Vol 4 by Kurtis J Wiebe and Owen Gieni (4 stars)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (5 stars)

The Magician’s Keeper by Nicola E. Sheridan (5 stars)

Whew, that’s it for the wrap up. I think I did pretty good for the month, with a total of 14 books read. Let’s move on to the book haul, including my October OwlCrate unboxing.

Finally, my November TBR. I’m actually going to keep my TBR pretty short because of NaNoWriMo, but I like to have a few books I can read anyway.

That’s all I plan to read for the month, but if writing goes well then I may be able to read a few other books. I’m up to 109 books read for the year, which is pretty great, so I increased my Goodreads reading challenge goal from 100 to 120.

Book Releases, Book Tag, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

The End of the Year Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I have a whole section in my blogging notebook with book tags I have either been tagged in or that I just decided I wanted to do, but just haven’t had the time to get them all answered and posted. I suppose that’s why today’s tag is one that I actually saw a whole month ago on Sofii’s blog (A Book. A Thought.) and am just now getting around to posting it myself.

I’m going to try and be a bit better with getting these tags completed in a more timely manner. Especially with NaNoWriMo coming up, I want to try and get as many of my November posts prepped ahead of time so I can just focus on novel writing.

Anyway, this is a fairly short tag, but let’s go ahead and jump in.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

So many! My currently reading list on Goodreads has like 20 or so books on it, which is just ridiculous. But for a few answers to this, I really need to finish Windwitch by Susan Dennard, because I love the Witchlands and really enjoy the story, King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, which I’m honestly losing interest in but I’ve come this far in the series so I at least want to finish this book, and A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, because I have this habit of not finishing series as I don’t want them to end, but it was announced that there would be more books in this world, so I think I can finish this now since there is more to come.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Usually around this time of year I like to settle in with more epic fantasy reads. As the cooler weather tends to keep me inside more, having lengthy books to enjoy is always great. But, to answer this question, I have heard that The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken is a sort of spooky Halloween-y type read.

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Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Well there’s The Empress by S.J. Kincaid (Oct 31), Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines (Nov 7), and Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (Dec 12).

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and Bonfire by Krysten Ritter. Plus so many others, but this question asked for just three.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Well, I had never heard of All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis a few months ago and now it ranks up there as one of my favorite books, so of course there could be a book in the last couple months of 2017 that rockets to the top of my favorites of the year list.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Vague plans for now. I always start my Goodreads reading challenge at 75 books, even when I’ve had to increase it one or two times every year. I’m starting to make a 2018 book releases list, so some of my reading plans will be based on new books. And I’ll likely participate in the April and October sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, plus who know what other readathons/reading challenges throughout the year.

Well, that’s about all for today. If you have not yet done this tag and you would like to, then consider yourself TAGGED!

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Hey all, Dani here.

National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and boy have I missed it. Honestly, aside from these blog posts, I have not done much writing lately, and I certainly have not done a whole lot of creative writing. And I really miss it. I’ve told myself that I need to set up a schedule and block out some time for writing every day and then I just don’t hold myself to it.

Thankfully I have the month of November to get me back into the rhythm of writing regularly.

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Okay, firstly, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event where each November participants attempt to write 50,000 words on a novel over the course of 30 days. Sounds pretty intense right? Well, honestly, sometimes it can be. Thankfully there are thousands of other writers attempting the same feat so you never really feel alone. You can even join regional forums based on where you live and you’ll be connected with other writers near you. Typically this also includes a person (or people) called Municipal Liaisons (MLs). These lovely people are the ones who organize meet-ups, a kick-off party, write-ins throughout the month, and a wrap party once it is over with.

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and it has just been such an enriching experience. In 2008 I became a Municipal Liaison, and I was one of the many founding donors for the Camp NaNoWriMo program, which is basically NaNoWriMo but in the summertime. I have written so many words and learned so much these past years and I’m so glad that I get to keep going.

This year would have been my tenth year as an ML, but sadly because of so much stuff happening in my real life, I missed the sign up deadline, something I never came close to missing before. So this year I get to watch as my co-ML runs the region on her own…well, officially anyway. Everyone knows that I’m not going anywhere, and am more than happy to answer questions and offer up advice and inspiration to any who need it.

But in some ways I’m actually glad that I just get to focus on my writing, instead of planning write-ins and pep talks, and spending a lot of time on the regional forums or on my region’s Facebook page.

In basically every previous NaNo, I wrote a fantasy or paranormal story, typically with just a hint of romance in it. But this year another story wants to be told, and it means a bit more of a challenge for me. See, events of my life this year have inspired me. At the beginning of this year I went to a friend’s house to start a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and there I met the amazingly wonderful and geeky man who has become my boyfriend.

So I want to write a geeky romance story, a story of two people who met while playing D&D and then bonded over board games and movies and other nerdy hobbies.

But I also know that I want the D&D campaign within the book to play a significant role too…so I plan on intertwining a fantasy story through the novel. It should be interesting at the very least.

I have basic sketches of most of the characters already finished and a general idea of the contemporary plot. I’m still thinking about the fantasy campaign story. Over the years I have learned that I can’t do a lot of writing down ideas and such because then I’ll struggle with writing the actual story in November. So I just come up with a few loose ideas and then fly by the seat of my pants the rest of the way. It works for me. Some people spend all of October drafting up elaborate outlines, and that’s fine too.

What I’m trying to do now is to come up with a good title I can use during this first draft process. I told my boyfriend that I don’t want something that is too ridiculous or cheesy, but the only thing that keeps coming to mind is “Roll for Romance.” He laughed and told me that was a perfect title and I should use it.

I guess unless something better comes along, that’s my title. I plan to draft up a quick book summary soon, and then I’ll be ready to write.

And look guys, I’m making more progress with my library/study. I should have it all finished just in time for NaNoWriMo to start, so that’ll be nice. Having a dedicated writing space can sometimes help the mind focus on the task at hand. I’ll just say here that my books aren’t fully in order yet, because I still have about half of my library to move from my mom’s house, and I still have a few more bookcases to assemble.

So are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, let me know, and good luck! And if you have any suggestions for my book title (or if you really like Roll for Romance, let me know those as well.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost, Writing

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Book Review, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. Seriously, I cannot believe that July is over already. This year is just flying by. Also, fun fact, today is my birthday! Yay…so I guess you all know that my August book haul is probably going to be a decent sized one, because I get a lot of books and such basically with any event where gifts are expected. Actually, at the time of this post’s release I’m probably sitting in the apartment my boyfriend and I share just reading. I took today off work so I can relax and just enjoy the day.

Anyway, July was a pretty good month of reading, so let’s just jump into the wrap up portion of this post. As per usual, I will link to my reviews where applicable. Oh, and I started my month by reading a handful of book samplers so you can check out that mini review here.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (5 stars)

Lucky in Love by Kasie West (4.5 stars)

First Watch by Dale Lucas (5 stars)

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (5 stars)

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw (4.5 stars)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (4.5 stars)

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly (5 stars)

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout (3.5 or 4 stars…still deciding on this one)

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz (5 stars)

No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista (5 stars)

Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer (5 stars)

Sandman, Vol 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman (5 stars)

Ms. Marvel, Vol 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson (5 stars)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase I by Kieron Gillen (5 stars)

Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum (5 stars)

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (5 stars)

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (4.5 stars) – review coming soon

Sovereign by April Daniels (5 stars) – review coming soon

Whew…see, that’s a pretty hefty list of books read in one month. This high total is partly thanks to participating in two different readathons in July: the 24 Hourathon and the Biannual Bibliothon.

Moving on to my book haul portion, which I like to do in photos. Here’s where I should also toss in a photo of my July OwlCrate unboxing. And I thought I was just going to have the one photo of books (top left), but my birthday book haul arrived a couple days earlier than I expected so the photo on the right is my birthday present to myself. I have finally completed my Sandman collection and I look forward to reading it, plus my boyfriend got me to watch Scott Pilgrim vs the World the other day so now I really want to read the whole series of that as well. Oh, and since The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks is finally out in paperback, I have the whole series and hope to maybe marathon them by the end of the year.

Finally, it’s time to introduce my August TBR list. Again, I have a pretty packed reading schedule for the month. I like knowing what all books I need to read and everything, but I kind of miss selecting books based on what I’m in the mood for. But I put myself in this position by accepting so many ARCs and e-galleys.

Then again, a few of these books are Middle Grade, which tend to be a bit faster reads for me so I may be able to squeeze in some bonus fun reads this month. We’ll see what happens. With signing up for the Make Me Read It Readathon and wanting to read a number of the books I just hauled, I’m thinking August will be a jam packed month. Speaking of that readathon, do me a favor and check out that post here and vote on what books you think I really need to read for it–because, yes, you can vote for more than one option.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back again soon with more reviews, tags, and perhaps some other random posts. If you feel like commenting below, let me know what books you read in July, or what books you’re looking forward to reading in August.

Books!, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo Midpoint Check-in

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…we are seriously already halfway through the month of July. Time is just flying by and I don’t know that I like it that much.

Anyway, today I’m here to give a little insight as to how my Camp NaNoWriMo experience is going so far. And by that, I mean, talk about how I have been in a writing slump for months now and sometimes it is hard to break out of that.

I’m just having issues focusing when I actually sit down to write…and it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting at a computer or just scribbling in a notebook. I may write a few sentences but then my mind wanders. Now I realize this seems silly when I’m clearly able to focus on reading, but each task is just a bit different. Plus, I suppose my reasoning is that I have a large stack of ARCs that I really should read and review before their release dates, whereas my writing can be put on the backburner.

That’s a horrible way to think of it considering how little writing I’ve managed the past couple years, but sadly that is just how things are working out for me at this point and time.

So basically I’ve maybe written a thousand words towards my original goal of 15,000. Now I’ve been farther behind than this during several sessions of NaNoWriMo and I still manage to reach the finish line just in time.

Perhaps I need to try moving ahead to a different scene or chapter and come back to the opening scene later. I know the basics of what I want to happen but the words just aren’t coming.

I will start another scene and see what happens. Hopefully I can get myself out of this no writing rut I’m in. Because I actually do want to write this story. Yes it is something that will be quite a bit different from my other stories, but sometimes change can be good.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo right now, let me know how you’re doing in the comments. We have two more weeks left in this session, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and/or race towards our goals. Good luck everyone!